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PLoS One. 2009;4(2):e4555. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004555. Epub 2009 Feb 23.

Spectrally-resolved response properties of the three most advanced FRET based fluorescent protein voltage probes.

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RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Laboratory for Neuronal Circuit Dynamics, Wako-Shi, Japan.


Genetically-encoded optical probes for membrane potential hold the promise of monitoring electrical signaling of electrically active cells such as specific neuronal populations in intact brain tissue. The most advanced class of these probes was generated by molecular fusion of the voltage sensing domain (VSD) of Ci-VSP with a fluorescent protein (FP) pair. We quantitatively compared the three most advanced versions of these probes (two previously reported and one new variant), each involving a spectrally distinct tandem of FPs. Despite these different FP tandems and dissimilarities within the amino acid sequence linking the VSD to the FPs, the amplitude and kinetics of voltage dependent fluorescence changes were surprisingly similar. However, each of these fluorescent probes has specific merits when considering different potential applications.

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